Holcim, Lafarge to sell 43 pc of Romania’s assets for merger approval


LafargeHolcim group that will result from the merger of cement producers Lafarge and Holcim should sell most of its assets in many countries to observe the competition laws, among which the 43 per cent of the production in Romania, according to Deutsche Bank estimations, quoted by Wall Street Journal.  On Monday, Holcim and Lafarge, respective Swiss and French companies unveiled merger plans that would create a construction-materials giant with operations that stretch from developed markets, such as Germany and France, to emerging economies, such as Brazil and India. The companies said they plan to sell assets that generate about EUR 5 billion, or roughly USD 6.9 billion, in annual revenue.
Chairman of Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu showed concern yesterday about the news regarding the merger between Lafarge and Holcim, saying that the cement market is one with low competition, and the disappearance of a player out of the three active in Romania is not a comforting situation. The companies estimate that they would have to sell assets generating annual revenues of about EUR 5 billion, to observe the anti-monopoly laws and to get the approval of the authorities for the transaction. About two-thirds of the planned sales of assets include activities in Europe, said the two companies.  “We will start discussions immediately with the European Commission and other regulators elsewhere,” said Lafarge Chief Executive Bruno Lafont, who would lead the new company.

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